Ebola virus (EBOV) transmission is currently poorly characterized and thought to occur primarily by direct contact with infectious material; however transmission from swine to nonhuman primates via the respiratory tract has been documented. To establish an EBOV transmission model for performing studies with statistical significance, groups of six guinea pigs (gps) were challenged intranasally (IN) or intraperitoneally (IP) with 10,000 x LD50 of gp-adapted EBOV, and naïve gps were then introduced as cage-mates for contact exposure at 1 day post-infection (dpi). Animals were monitored for survival and clinical signs of disease, and quantitated for virus shedding post-exposure. Changes in contact duration of naïve gps with infected animals were evaluated for impact on transmission efficiency. Transmission was more efficient from IN compared to IP-challenged gps, with 17% versus 83% of naïve gps surviving exposure, respectively. Virus shedding was detected beginning at 3 dpi from both IN- and IP-challenged animals. Contact duration positively correlated with transmission efficiency, and the abrogation of direct contact between infected and naïve animals through the erection of a steel mesh is effective at stopping virus spread, provided that infectious animal bedding was absent in the cages. Histopathological and immunohistochemical findings show that IN-infected gps display enhanced lung pathology and EBOV antigen in the trachea, which support increased virus transmission from these animals. The results suggest that IN-challenged gps are more infectious to naïve animals than their systemically-infected counterparts, and that transmission occurs through direct contact with infectious materials, including those transported through air movement over short distances.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) is a permanent threat due to its capacity to cross species barriers and generate severe infections and high mortality in humans. Recent findings have highlighted the potential role of PB1-F2, a small accessory influenza protein, in the pathogenesis process mediated by HPAIV in mammals. In this study, using a recombinant H5N1 HPAIV (wt) and its PB1-F2-deleted mutant (?F2), we studied the effects of PB1-F2 in a chicken model. Unexpectedly, when using low inoculation dose we observed that the wt-infected chickens had a higher survival rate than the ?F2-infected chickens, a feature that contrasts with what is usually observed in mammals. High inoculation dose had similar mortality rate for both viruses, and comparison of the bio-distribution of the two viruses indicated that the expression of PB1-F2 allows a better spreading of the virus within chicken embryos. Transcriptomic profiles of lungs and blood cells were characterized at two days post-infection in chickens inoculated with the wild type (wt) or the ?F2 mutant viruses. In lungs, the expression of PB1-F2 during the infection induced pathways related to calcium signaling and repressed a large panel of immunological functions. In blood cells, PB1-F2 was associated with a gene signature specific for mitochondrial dysfunction and down-modulated leucocytes activation. Finally we compared the effect of PB1-F2 in lungs of chickens and mice. We identified that gene signature associated to tissue damages is a PB1-F2 feature shared by the two species; by contrast, the early inhibition of immune response mediated by PB1-F2 observed in chickens is not seen in mice. In summary, our data suggest that PB1-F2 expression deeply affect the immune response in chickens in a way that may attenuate pathogenicity at low infection dose, a feature differing from what was previously observed in mammal species.
Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a viral disease which primarily affects small ruminants, causing significant economic losses for the livestock industry in developing countries. It is endemic in Saharan and sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent. The primary hosts for peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) are goats and sheep; however recent models studying the pathology, disease progression and viremia of PPRV have focused primarily on goat models. This study evaluates the tissue tropism and pathogenesis of PPR following experimental infection of sheep and goats using a quantitative time-course study. Upon infection with a virulent strain of PPRV, both sheep and goats developed clinical signs and lesions typical of PPR, although sheep displayed milder clinical disease compared to goats. Tissue tropism of PPRV was evaluated by real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Lymph nodes, lymphoid tissue and digestive tract organs were the predominant sites of virus replication. The results presented in this study provide models for the comparative evaluation of PPRV pathogenesis and tissue tropism in both sheep and goats. These models are suitable for the establishment of experimental parameters necessary for the evaluation of vaccines, as well as further studies into PPRV-host interactions.
During spring-summer 2009, several observational studies from Canada showed increased risk of medically-attended, laboratory-confirmed A(H1N1)pdm09 illness among prior recipients of 2008-09 trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV). Explanatory hypotheses included direct and indirect vaccine effects. In a randomized placebo-controlled ferret study, we tested whether prior receipt of 2008-09 TIV may have directly influenced A(H1N1)pdm09 illness. Thirty-two ferrets (16/group) received 0.5 mL intra-muscular injections of the Canadian-manufactured, commercially-available, non-adjuvanted, split 2008-09 Fluviral or PBS placebo on days 0 and 28. On day 49 all animals were challenged (Ch0) with A(H1N1)pdm09. Four ferrets per group were randomly selected for sacrifice at day 5 post-challenge (Ch+5) and the rest followed until Ch+14. Sera were tested for antibody to vaccine antigens and A(H1N1)pdm09 by hemagglutination inhibition (HI), microneutralization (MN), nucleoprotein-based ELISA and HA1-based microarray assays. Clinical characteristics and nasal virus titers were recorded pre-challenge then post-challenge until sacrifice when lung virus titers, cytokines and inflammatory scores were determined. Baseline characteristics were similar between the two groups of influenza-naïve animals. Antibody rise to vaccine antigens was evident by ELISA and HA1-based microarray but not by HI or MN assays; virus challenge raised antibody to A(H1N1)pdm09 by all assays in both groups. Beginning at Ch+2, vaccinated animals experienced greater loss of appetite and weight than placebo animals, reaching the greatest between-group difference in weight loss relative to baseline at Ch+5 (7.4% vs. 5.2%; p?=?0.01). At Ch+5 vaccinated animals had higher lung virus titers (log-mean 4.96 vs. 4.23pfu/mL, respectively; p?=?0.01), lung inflammatory scores (5.8 vs. 2.1, respectively; p?=?0.051) and cytokine levels (p>0.05). At Ch+14, both groups had recovered. Findings in influenza-naïve, systematically-infected ferrets may not replicate the human experience. While they cannot be considered conclusive to explain human observations, these ferret findings are consistent with direct, adverse effect of prior 2008-09 TIV receipt on A(H1N1)pdm09 illness. As such, they warrant further in-depth investigation and search for possible mechanistic explanations.
abstract : In previous studies we examined the role of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) in the epidemiology of Eurasian highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1. To expand on this and better understand how pre-exposure to heterosubtypic low-pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses might influence the outcome of H5N1 HPAI infection, we pre-exposed naïve juvenile Canada Geese to different North American wild-bird-origin LPAI viruses. We selected H1, H2, and H6 hemagglutinin subtype viruses based on their higher-order evolutionary relatedness to the H5 hemagglutinin. Pre-exposing Canada Geese to either H2N3 or H6N5 viruses did not protect them against a lethal H5N1 HPAI virus challenge. In addition, H5N1 was transmitted to naïve control birds that were placed among both groups resulting in death by 5 days postcontact. In contrast, Canada Geese that were pre-exposed to H1N1 were protected against a lethal H5N1 challenge, shed minimal amounts of the virus into the environment, and did not transmit the infection to naïve contact birds. None of the H1N1, H2N3, or H6N5 pre-exposure sera neutralized H5N1 in vitro; however, sera from H1N1-infected birds reduced virus plaque size but not number when compared with H2N3, H6N5, or negative sera, suggesting that antibodies directed against the neuraminidase may have had a role in the protective effects observed.
Pandemic type A (H1N1) influenza arose in early 2009, probably in Mexico and the United States, and reappeared in North America in September for seven more months. An amino acid substitution in the hemagglutinin (HA), D222G, has been reported in a significant proportion of patients with a severe and fatal outcome. We studied the prevalence of HA222 substitutions in patients in Mexico during the second wave and its association with clinical outcome and pathogenicity in a mouse model.
Ebola viruses (EBOV) are filamentous single-stranded RNA viruses of the family Filoviridae. Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV) causes severe haemorrhagic fever in humans, great apes and non-human primates (NHPs) with high fatality rates. In contrast, Reston ebolavirus (REBOV), the only species found outside Africa, is lethal to some NHPs but has never been linked to clinical disease in humans despite documented exposure. REBOV was isolated from pigs in the Philippines and subsequent experiments confirmed the susceptibility of pigs to both REBOV and ZEBOV with predilection for the lungs. However, only ZEBOV caused severe lung pathology in 5-6 weeks old pigs leading to respiratory distress. To further elucidate the mechanisms for lung pathology, microarray analysis of changes in gene expression was performed on lung tissue from ZEBOV-infected pigs. Furthermore, systemic effects were monitored by looking at changes in peripheral blood leukocyte subsets and systemic cytokine responses. Following oro-nasal challenge, ZEBOV replicated mainly in the respiratory tract, causing severe inflammation of the lungs and consequently rapid and difficult breathing. Neutrophils and macrophages infiltrated the lungs but only the latter were positive for ZEBOV antigen. Genes for proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines and acute phase proteins, known to attract immune cells to sites of infection, were upregulated in the lungs, causing the heavy influx of cells into this site. Systemic effects included a decline in the proportion of monocyte/dendritic and B cells and a mild proinflammatory cytokine response. Serum IgM was detected on day 5 and 6 post infection. In conclusion, a dysregulation/over-activation of the pulmonary proinflammatory response may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of ZEBOV infection in 5-6 weeks old pigs by attracting inflammatory cells to the lungs.
The outbreak of the 2009 influenza pandemic underscored the important role of swine in influenza virus evolution and the emergence of novel viruses with pandemic potential. Vaccination is the most common practice to control swine influenza in swine industry. Influenza virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines are an alternative approach and have been demonstrated to be immunogenic and confer protection against influenza virus challenge in chickens, mice and ferrets. In this study, we generated VLPs consisting of HA, NA and M1 proteins derived from pandemic virus A/California/04/2009 in insect cells. The immunogenicity and efficacy following vaccination of VLPs were evaluated in swine. Our data showed that vaccination using VLPs elicited robust levels of serum IgG, mucosal IgA, and viral neutralizing antibodies against A/Sw/Manitoba/MAFRI32/2009 H1N1. Following challenge with pandemic H1N1 2009, vaccinated pigs were protected, displaying reduced lung lesions, virus shedding and inhibition of virus replication in the lungs compared to non-vaccinated control pigs. Thus, VLPs can serve as a promising vaccination strategy to control influenza in swine.
Several early pandemic H1N1 influenza isolates cause severe disease in different animals models, while most strains result in mild clinical signs similar to seasonal influenza. In this study, the pathogenesis of the virulent Mexican isolate A/Mexico/InDRE4487/2009 and a mild Canadian isolate A/Canada-AB/RV1532/2009 was compared in ferrets. These viruses differed at nine residues, none of which has been previously identified as virulence factor. The Mexican isolate caused more severe disease and higher mortality, and reached higher peak nasal wash titers. Both viruses grew similarly in the respiratory tract, but only the virulent virus was detected in the gut after day 3. During the acute phase, both strains caused similar lung pathology, however the Mexican isolate induced severe inflammation even after virus clearance. This virus was also associated with a rapid and sustained induction of inflammatory cytokines, indicating that early dysregulation of the host response contributes importantly to the disease outcome.
Hendra virus (HeV) is a zoonotic virus from the family Paramyxoviridae causing fatal disease in humans and horses. Five-week-old Landrace pigs and 5-month-old Gottingen minipigs were inoculated with approximately 10(7) plaque forming units per animal. In addition to fever and depression exhibited in all infected pigs, one of the two Landrace pigs developed respiratory signs at 5 days post-inoculation (dpi) and one of the Gottingen minipigs developed respiratory signs at 5 dpi and mild neurological signs at 7 dpi. Virus was detected in all infected pigs at 2-5 dpi from oral, nasal, and rectal swabs and at 3-5 dpi from ocular swabs by real-time RT-PCR targeting the HeV M gene. Virus titers in nasal swab samples were as high as 10(4.6) TCID(50)/mL. The viral RNA was mainly distributed in tissues from respiratory and lymphoid systems at an early stage of infection and the presence of virus was confirmed by virus isolation. Pathological changes and immunohistochemical staining for viral antigen were consistent with the tissue distribution of the virus. This new finding indicates that pigs are susceptible to HeV infections and could potentially play a role as an intermediate host in transmission to humans.
Swine influenza was first recognized as a disease entity during the 1918 "Spanish flu" pandemic. The aim of this work was to determine the virulence of a plasmid-derived human 1918 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus (reconstructed 1918, or 1918/rec, virus) in swine using a plasmid-derived A/swine/Iowa/15/1930 H1N1 virus (1930/rec virus), representing the first isolated influenza virus, as a reference. Four-week-old piglets were inoculated intratracheally with either the 1930/rec or the 1918/rec virus or intranasally with the 1918/rec virus. A transient increase in temperature and mild respiratory signs developed postinoculation in all virus-inoculated groups. In contrast to other mammalian hosts (mice, ferrets, and macaques) where infection with the 1918/rec virus was lethal, the pigs did not develop severe respiratory distress or become moribund. Virus titers in the lower respiratory tract as well as macro- and microscopic lesions at 3 and 5 days postinfection (dpi) were comparable between the 1930/rec and 1918/rec virus-inoculated animals. In contrast to the 1930/rec virus-infected animals, at 7 dpi prominent lung lesions were present in only the 1918/rec virus-infected animals, and all the piglets developed antibodies at 7 dpi. Presented data support the hypothesis that the 1918 pandemic influenza virus was able to infect and replicate in swine, causing a respiratory disease, and that the virus was likely introduced into the pig population during the 1918 pandemic, resulting in the current lineage of the classical H1N1 swine influenza viruses.
In March 2011, rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD) was suspected in a 1-year-old male neutered lop-eared rabbit that had acute onset liver failure. Gross pathology, histopathology, immunohistochemistry, partial nucleic acid sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the major capsid protein (VP60) and animal inoculation studies all supported this diagnosis making it the first confirmed case of RHD in Canada.
There is a critical need to have vaccines that can protect against emerging pandemic influenza viruses. Commonly used influenza vaccines are killed whole virus that protect against homologous and not heterologous virus. Using chickens we have explored the possibility of using live low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) A/goose/AB/223/2005 H1N1 or A/WBS/MB/325/2006 H1N2 to induce immunity against heterologous highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A/chicken/Vietnam/14/2005 H5N1. H1N1 and H1N2 replicated in chickens but did not cause clinical disease. Following infection, chickens developed nucleoprotein and H1 specific antibodies, and reduced H5N1 plaque size in vitro in the absence of H5 neutralizing antibodies at 21 days post infection (DPI). In addition, heterologous cell mediated immunity (CMI) was demonstrated by antigen-specific proliferation and IFN-? secretion in PBMCs re-stimulated with H5N1 antigen. Following H5N1 challenge of both pre-infected and naïve controls chickens housed together, all naïve chickens developed acute disease and died while H1N1 or H1N2 pre-infected chickens had reduced clinical disease and 70-80% survived. H1N1 or H1N2 pre-infected chickens were also challenged with H5N1 and naïve chickens placed in the same room one day later. All pre-infected birds were protected from H5N1 challenge but shed infectious virus to naïve contact chickens. However, disease onset, severity and mortality was reduced and delayed in the naïve contacts compared to directly inoculated naïve controls. These results indicate that prior infection with LPAI virus can generate heterologous protection against HPAI H5N1 in the absence of specific H5 antibody.
Ebola viruses (EBOV) cause often fatal hemorrhagic fever in several species of simian primates including human. While fruit bats are considered natural reservoir, involvement of other species in EBOV transmission is unclear. In 2009, Reston-EBOV was the first EBOV detected in swine with indicated transmission to humans. In-contact transmission of Zaire-EBOV (ZEBOV) between pigs was demonstrated experimentally. Here we show ZEBOV transmission from pigs to cynomolgus macaques without direct contact. Interestingly, transmission between macaques in similar housing conditions was never observed. Piglets inoculated oro-nasally with ZEBOV were transferred to the room housing macaques in an open inaccessible cage system. All macaques became infected. Infectious virus was detected in oro-nasal swabs of piglets, and in blood, swabs, and tissues of macaques. This is the first report of experimental interspecies virus transmission, with the macaques also used as a human surrogate. Our finding may influence prevention and control measures during EBOV outbreaks.
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